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Old 05-10-2014, 11:03 PM   #204
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Arrow GladIator

Boxers Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank travel to Rome to train as gladiators.. The 5 days of preparation will culminate in a gladiatorial 'rematch'...
A gladiator (Latin: gladiator, "swordsman", from gladius, "sword") was an armed combatant who entertained audiences in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire in violent confrontations with other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals. Some gladiators were volunteers who risked their legal and social standing and their lives by appearing in the arena. Most were despised as slaves, schooled under harsh conditions, socially marginalized, and segregated even in death..The origin of gladiatorial combat is open to debate. There is evidence of it in funeral rites during the Punic Wars of the 3rd century BCE, and thereafter it rapidly became an essential feature of politics and social life in the Roman world. Its popularity led to its use in ever more lavish and costly games..Early literary sources seldom agree on the origins of gladiators and the gladiator games.. In the late 1st century BC, Nicolaus of Damascus believed they were Etruscan. A generation later, Livy wrote that they were first held in 310 BC by the Campanians in celebration of their victory over the Samnites. Long after the games had ceased, the 7th century AD writer Isidore of Seville derived Latin lanista (manager of gladiators) from the Etruscan word for "executioner," and the title of Charon (an official who accompanied the dead from the Roman gladiatorial arena) from Charun, psychopomp of the Etruscan underworld.. Roman historians emphasized the gladiator games as a foreign import, most likely Etruscan.. This preference informed most standard histories of the Roman games in the early modern era...

By the closing years of the politically and socially unstable Late Republic, gladiator games provided their sponsors with extravagantly expensive but effective opportunities for self-promotion while offering cheap, exciting entertainment to their clients.. Gladiators became big business for trainers and owners, for politicians on the make and those who had reached the top..Ownership of gladiators or a gladiator school gave muscle and flair to Roman politics..Throughout the Empire, the greatest and most celebrated games would now be identified with the state-sponsored Imperial cult, which furthered public recognition, respect and approval for the Emperor, his law, and his agents.. Between 108 and 109 CE, Trajan celebrated his Dacian victories using a reported 10,000 gladiators (and 11,000 animals) over 123 days..The decline of the munus was a far from straightforward process.. The crisis of the 3rd century imposed increasing military demands on the imperial purse, from which the Roman Empire never quite recovered, and lesser magistrates found the obligatory munera an increasingly unrewarding tax on the doubtful privileges of office.. Still, emperors continued to subsidize the games as a matter of undiminished public interest..An imperially sanctioned munus at some time in the 330s suggests that yet again, imperial legislation to curb the games proved ineffective, not least when Constantine defied his own law.. In 365, Valentinian I (r. 364–375) threatened to fine a judge who sentenced Christians to the arena and in 384 he attempted, like most of his predecessors, to limit the expenses of munera.. By this time, the popularity of munera had waned, unlike the theatrical shows, and the chariot races which, at least in the Eastern Empire, continued to attract the crowds, and a generous Imperial subsidy..They included a provincial magnate's 5-day munus of thirty pairs, plus beast-hunts..

The trade in gladiators was Empire-wide, and subjected to official supervision. Rome's military success produced a supply of soldier-prisoners who were redistributed for use in State mines or amphitheatres and for sale on the open market.. For example, in the aftermath of the Jewish Revolt, the gladiator schools received an influx of Jews – those rejected for training would have been sent straight to the arenas as noxii (lit. "hurtful ones")..The use of volunteers had a precedent in the Iberian munus of Scipio Africanus; but none of those had been paid.. For Romans, "gladiator" would have meant a schooled fighter, sworn and contracted to a master..From the 60s CE female gladiators appear, as "exotic markers of exceptionally lavish spectacle".. In 66 CE, Nero had Ethiopian women, men and children fight at a munus to impress King Tiridates I of Armenia.. Romans seem to have found the idea of a female gladiator novel and entertaining, or downright absurd; Juvenal titillates his readers with a woman named "Mevia", hunting boars in the arena "with spear in hand and breasts exposed", and Petronius mocks the pretensions of a rich, low-class citizen, whose munus includes a woman fighting from a cart or chariot..Some regarded female gladiators as a symptom of corrupted Roman sensibilities, morals and womanhood, regardless of class..The earliest munera took place at or near the tomb of the deceased and these were organised by their munerator (who made the offering). Later games were held by an editor, either identical with the munerator or an official employed by him..Games were advertised beforehand on conspicuously placed billboards, giving the reason for the game, its editor, venue, date and the number of paired gladiators (ordinarii) to be used..

The night before the munus, the gladiators were given a banquet and opportunity to order their personal and private affairs; Futrell notes its similarity to a ritualistic "last meal".. These were probably both family and public events which included even the noxii and damnati and they may have been used to drum up more publicity for the coming match..Before the listed contests were fought, the gladiators may have held informal warm-up matches, using blunted or dummy weapons – some munera, however, may have used blunted weapons throughout..The editor, his representative or an honoured guest would check the weapons (probatio armorum) for the scheduled matches..In the earliest munera, death was considered the proper outcome of combat. During the Imperial era, matches were sometimes advertised sine missione (without release [from the sentence of death]), which suggests that missio (the sparing of a defeated gladiator's life) had become a common practice at the games..Most gladiators fought at 2 or 3 munera annually. An unknown number died in their first match and a few fought in up to 150 combats..Popular factions supported favourite gladiators and gladiator types..

The earliest named gladiator school (singular: ludus; plural: ludi) is that of Aurelius Scaurus at Capua – he was lanista of the gladiators employed by the state circa 105 BCE to instruct the legions and simultaneously entertain the public..The Spartacus revolt had originated in a gladiator school privately owned by Lentulus Batiatus, and had been suppressed only after a protracted series of costly, sometimes disastrous campaigns by regular Roman troops..In the Imperial era, volunteers required a magistrate's permission to join a school as auctorati.. If this was granted, the school's physician assessed their suitability..All prospective gladiators, whether volunteer or condemned, were bound to service by a sacred oath (sacramentum)..Those condemned ad ludum were probably branded or marked with a tattoo (stigma, plural stigmata) on the face, legs and/or hands..Despite the harsh discipline, gladiators represented a substantial investment for their lanista and were otherwise well cared for.. Their high-energy, vegetarian diet combined barley, boiled beans, oatmeal, ash (believed to help fortify the body) and dried fruit...Towards the end of the Republic, Cicero (Murena, 72–3) still describes gladiator shows as ticketed — their political usefulness was served by inviting the rural tribunes of the plebs, not the people of Rome en masse – but in Imperial times, poor citizens in receipt of the corn dole were allocated at least some free seating, possibly by lottery.. Others had to pay. Ticket scalpers (Locarii) sometimes sold or let out seats at inflated prices. Martial wrote that "Hermes [a gladiator who always drew the crowds] means riches for the ticket scalpers"...The earliest known Roman amphitheatre was built at Pompeii by Sullan colonists, around 70 BCE..Some mosaics show defeated gladiators kneeling in preparation for the moment of death. Seneca's "vital spot" seems to have meant the neck.. Gladiator remains from Ephesus confirm this..The body of a gladiator who had died well was placed on a couch of Libitina and removed from the arena with dignity. Once in the arena morgue, the corpse would have been stripped of armour, and probably had its throat cut to prove that dead was dead..The average gladiator lifespan was short; few survived more than 10 matches or lived past the age of 30.. One (Felix) is known to have lived to 45 and one retired gladiator lived to 90.. George Ville calculated an average age at death at 27 for gladiators (based on headstone evidence)..

In obedience to the Books of Destiny, some strange and unusual sacrifices were made,human sacrifices amongst them. A Gaulish man and a Gaulish woman and a Greek man and a Greek woman were buried alive under the Forum Boarium..The account notes, uncomfortably, the proximity of recent human sacrifice.. While the Senate mustered their willing slaves, Hannibal offered his dishonoured Roman captives a chance for honourable death, in what Livy describes as something very like the Roman munus.. The munus thus represented an essentially military, self-sacrificial ideal, taken to extreme fulfillment in the gladiator's oath..The military were great aficionados of the games, and supervised the schools. Many schools and amphitheatres were sited at or near military barracks, and some provincial army units owned gladiator troupes..Roman writing as a whole demonstrates a deep ambivalence towards the gladiatoria munera. Even the most complex and sophisticated munera of the Imperial era evoked the ancient, ancestral dii manes of the underworld and were framed by the protective, lawful rites of sacrificium..Very little evidence survives for the religious beliefs of gladiators as a class, or their expectations of an afterlife. Modern scholarship offers little support for the once-prevalent notion that gladiators, along with venatores and bestiarii were personally or professionally dedicated to the cult of Nemesis. Rather, she seems to have been associated with Imperial power, and thus with the arena as a place of Imperial justice and retribution..Mark Antony promoted gladiators to his personal guard.."He vows to endure to be
burned, to be bound, to be beaten, and to be killed by the sword"... It is fate that rules us, Little Boots, not any god..You are a god..No, I'm NOT! Not even when I'm dead..Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar, they are gods.. One by one..So says the senate, and so the people prefer to believe...I am and always have been surrounded by enemies.. In my own family, in the senate..You are cruel!..

Last edited by lightgiver; 05-10-2014 at 11:06 PM.
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